'Riverdale' Star KJ Apa Shares Emotional Luke Perry Story, Wishes He Could Be Like Him

This week's Riverdale was a momentous one, but not just because of the in-character developments of the popular The CW series. The episode, "Fear the Reaper", marked the final episode Luke Perry appeared in prior to his death in March. The sudden loss of Perry has been emotional for fans, but it's been particularly challenging for Riverdale's stars -- especially K.J. Apa, who played his onscreen son. Now, Apa is opening up about Perry's death with an emotionally story about the star.

Apa, who has been very private about the loss of his colleague and friend, appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Friday and explained that not only was Perry an exceptionally kind and welcoming person, he also took care of those around him -- including Apa himself.

"It's not every day you come across somebody like Luke. He did everything he could to make everyone, no matter how big or small you were, feel comfortable and welcome," Apa said. "It's hard to put into words how that makes me feel."

He went on to explain that not only were he and Perry close, but that Perry was close to Apa's parents as well, regularly letting them know how their son was doing and even taking care of him when he was sick.

"He would call my parents every week and give them an update on how I was doing," Apa said. "He and my dad were close."

Apa isn't the only Riverdale star that remembers Perry as being someone who took care of those around him. Camila Mendes, who plays Veronica Lodge on Riverdale, said similar soon after Perry's death.

“He took care of us all,” Mendes said of Perry on social media. “An authentic man who took pleasure in offering us his guidance and wisdom. His presence was healing; he had the ability to make you feel comfortable and at ease within seconds of seeing him. I will never forget the collective shock and distress we experienced when the news broke on set. We lost a dear friend. My heart hurts for his family and anybody who had the pleasure of knowing him. Rest in peace, Luke. Although you’re no longer around to wrap me in the warmth of your hug, I can still remember what it felt like. Whenever I think of you, I will remember that feeling."

Perry died suddenly in March at the age of 52 following a massive stroke and while it's clear that Apa is still mourning the loss of his friend and mentor, Perry's influence is one that Apa hopes will shape him going forward still. He told Fallon he wants to be like Perry himself.

"I hope I can be like that," Apa said.

Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.

What do you think about K.J. Apa's Luke Perry story? Let us know in the comments below.

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